On Sunday 10th November at around 21:40, three young people with their heads covered, caused serious damage to the entrance foyer of the iconic Tim Parry Johnathan Ball Peace Centre. The attack of vandalism used considerable force to destroy a 12mm plated substantial glass structure at the entrance to the building
Repair costs may be in the thousands of pounds and an appeal has been launched to ask the public to help.
The centre was built in memory of two boys, 12-year-old Tim Parry and three-year-old Johnathan Ball and is the headquarters for the Peace Foundation and its work to prevent, resolve and respond to violent conflict such as terrorism. The centre is welcoming and open, in its own grounds but retains CCTV and physical on site security – the intruders waited until the security guard was on patrol elsewhere on the large site. CCTV footage is with the Police and alongside other evidence, it is hoped that the culprits will be identified and brought to justice.
Nick Taylor, Chief Executive of the Peace Foundation described the damage as significant and said: “This seems to be part of a wider spate of vandalism in the area and not targeted, and there is no evidence it is related to Remembrance Sunday, but it is an act of violence on a poignant day which is about peace.
“In 20 years, we have never had such vandalism and the building is respected, not just locally, but nationally and internationally for what it is, even by some very challenging people we work with.”
He went on to say how upsetting this is for our Founders, Colin and Wendy Parry, who lost their son Tim in the IRA bombing in 1993. It was Wendy’s idea to build the Peace Centre and she was one of the first to view the damage and asked the question: “Do the young people who did this have no respect for what this building stands for, the memory of Tim and Johnathan and a place that helps their community?
“Its beyond me what pleasure they get from doing senseless things.”
Cheshire Police are investigating and have been given access to the CCTV footage and other evidence from around the scene and immediate areas.
Anyone who has information is asked to contact them – dial 101 (non-emergency number). Calls to 101 cost 15 pence per call from landlines and mobiles – no matter how long you’re on the phone. If you are deaf, hard of hearing or have a speech impediment you can contact the police using a text phone through Typetalk for non-emergency situations on 18001 101.
The Peace Foundation has also made clear that if the people are identified and go through the justice system they will ask them to visit the Peace Centre to learn about our work by way of reparation and seek community payback!